File security is important.

The Lode hard drive is designed to keep those files protected--and give the user peace of mind as they grab, attach, and go, their important documents buried inside. A colorful cord, layered within a frosted channel, doubles as a carrying loop and a cover for the USB port hidden inside. When it's not being carried, the cord moves to allow access to the precious data placed safely within.

Load it up.


Class assignment: Design a hard drive using a layer methodology for Design Principles II.

Metaphor: "Lode" refers to metal deposits hidden deep underground in channels and fissures. Ores form veins within the channels, which are accessed through mining tunnels. Hard drives protect our precious data until we plug in and mine it out. The metaphor of veins, channels, and deposits is exhibited in the cord loop, which acts as a direct channel to the valuable contents of the hard drive. (see inspiration above)

Design: The design went through several layered iterations, a consistent feature being the carrying cord, which wraps in and around the main form in most concepts. Sketches highlight user experience of carrying the device, ergonomics (soft materials), and the on/off experience. Bright colors guided the concept to be playful and active.

Without an on/off button, how can a hard drive be designed to include the user experience of ON/OFF or in use / not in use?

Model production details

Because of time and resource constraints, molding a clear plastic component for the channel was not possible. Instead, the frosted channel was achieved using a series of laser-cut acrylic sheets fixed to a wooden core. A colorful polyester cord was recycled from a gift bag, and tabbed with flat blue ribbon. EVA was attached to cover the wooden core, create the channel effect, and provide a soft, protective finish.

Full production list: wooden core, laser-cut acrylic sheets, polyester cord, Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam, wood screws, 3D-printed ABS plastic, paper, double-sided tape